Expanding Opportunities for Inclusion through the Arts

Arts have played a role in creating opportunities for inclusion for Ananth for many years.
Ananth has been learning Bharatanatyam for over ten years. Dance has played an important role in Ananth’s life because he needs the structured, consistent movement experience. Dance has also expanded opportunities for participating in community events as an observer and as a performer. The opportunities have increased significantly since he joined Ramana Sunritya Aalaya (RASA) founded by Dr. Ambika Kameshwar. The eco-system that she has created over more than three decades has created many opportunities for Ananth to perform. His opportunities have also expanded because Dr. Ambika Kameshwar has developed Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD). Ananth has also performed in three theatre performances since August 2021.

This week has been an eventful one for us.
• Ananth participated in a group dance at the Ramana Maharshi Center for Learning, Bengaluru.
• He also performed at a Mehendi function in Chennai.
24/10/2023 2023 Yogambikai (Vijayadashami Function Ramana Maharshi Center for Learning)
Ananth participated in the Vijayadashami Function at the Ramana Maharshi Center for Learning (RMCL) for the first time. He has been learning Bharatanatyam from Sri Ujwal Jagadeesh, Senior Artist and Faculty at RMCL for over a year. It was exciting to perform with RMCL students for the first time on Vijayadashami.
26/10/2023 Ganesha Stuti (Manu Sekar and Neeraja’s Wedding Mehendi Function)
Ananth also had an opportunity to perform at the Mehendi function at Manu Sekar and Neeraja’s wedding. Manu Sekar is the Founder and CEO of HashHackCode, an organization that teaches coding and web development to indidviduals with different abilties.
He performed Ganesha Stuti which he had performed earlier in our community Ganesha Chaturthi celebration.

26/10/2023 Yogambikai (Manu Sekar and Neeraja’s Wedding Mehendi Function)

TAHD and Ananth’s Journey
Sri Ujwal Jagadeesh is a senior TAHD facilitator. He incorporates storytelling as an integral part of his Bharatanatyam classes. Ananth shares stories integrated with music and dance on his Youtube channel. In fact, Ananth’s Youtube channel happened because of the TAHD approach to Bharatanatyam. Rather than traditional dance performances, Ananth can share creations integrating theatre arts tools (movement and dance, music and rhythm, storytelling, drama, arts and crafts).
L: Learning daily
Daily learning has expanded beyond Bharatanatyam. Ananth now learns and practices storytelling regularly. Ananth has started his diploma in Bharatanatyam. These learning experiences have helped him evolve his learning and practice approach as he moves into his diploma course.
I: Interests
Ananth’s interest in Bharatanatyam has expanded to include storytelling and drama.
F: Family interactions
Stories on Youtube channel, drama performances, and dance performances are all ways to engage family members in Ananth’s experiences.
E: Engagement with community
TAHD has significantly expanded Ananth’s opportunities for engaging communities. The Youtube channel is a systematic way to engage neurodivergent learners and their families. Performances provide opportunities to interact with many people in the RASA/RMCL ecosystem.

Dr. Dasaratha Rama is a professor and home educator. She was the editor of a monograph on service-learning published by the American Association of Higher Education. This monograph was a part of a series of monographs on service-learning published by AAHE. She was also an Engaged Scholar with the Campus Compact, an association in the US dedicated to higher education civic and community engagement at colleges and universities. She has served as the Chair of the Teaching and Curriculum Section of the American Accounting Education. She is a certified leader in systems thinking, mapping, and leadership under a program offered by Cabrera Research Lab. She is currently doing a certificate in Theater Arts for Holistic Development (TAHD) from RASA (Ramana Sunritya Aalaya).

Ananth Raghunandan is a student ambassador for RASA and TAHD. Ananth Raghunandan will be starting a diploma in Bharatanatyam shortly.

Their journey from homeschooling to collaborators and co-creators continues!

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